What Comes After the NYCDOE Test Bubble Crash of 2010?
In light of the revision of scoring rubrics by the NYSED, The Coalition for Public Education makes the following observations on the uses and abuses of high stakes exams:
*High stakes exams reflect a student's preparation for an exam, prior successes in school, and their family's socio economic and educational level.
*Reliance on high stakes exams reproduce existing divisions and social control based on race and class.
*The results of high stakes exams were used by the current "education reformers" to narrowly define an educational crisis based on a "failure" of students, families and educators.
*High stakes exams provided a "race neutral" cover to replace the BOE, install a mayoral dictatorship and enrich private contractors.
*High stakes exams were used to create an illusion that the so called "achievement gap" in NYC schools was narrowing while race and class inequality widened in the larger society. Race and class segregation in the public schools has also increased. Mayoral dictatorship, has insulated increasingly white and gentrified districts, gifted and talented programs, specialized science high schools, and schools within schools. The hiring of Black and Latino educators has declined by 42% which DOE officials themselves attribute to the NYS teacher certification exam.
*The "data" derived from high stakes exams is not a useful guide in a human rights based system of education
*Data based instruction based on high stakes exams creates an illusion of educational rigor and accountability and is not child centered. We invite parents, students, educators, school staff and community members to join with us to overcome the new and old legacies of division, and create a grassroots based accountability system based on self-governance and human rights principles. We believe the following demands point us in the right direction:
**End admission to gifted and talented and specialized schools based on high stakes exams
**End mandatory grade retention and graduation based on high stakes exams.
**End pay raises, promotions and or bonuses to pedagogues and administrators based on high stakes exams
**End teacher certification based on high stakes exams
**End mayoral dictatorship. For a People's Board of Education!